Ready Player Me Raises $56M for Metaverse Avatars
Metaverse virtual being startup Ready Player Me has closed a $56 million Series B funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Ready Player Me’s platform creates three-dimensional digital avatars for exploring virtual worlds and is usable on more than 3,000 apps.
Ready Player Me offers a suite of tools for building a virtual representative to travel the metaverse, using AI to sculpt one based on photos or allowing the user to manually set up the look of the avatar, with more than 20,000 synthetically generated faces already in the company’s database. Users can import their digital self into any of the compatible platforms and games. The startup is aiming to become the standard engine for custom virtual humans, including the monetization of in-game accessories and items. Ready Player Me’s reported 3,000 plus apps is already triple the number it claimed when it closed a $13 million round in December. This time, there are more than a dozen investors on top of Andreeson, including several prominent names from the entertainment and digital tech spaces like Roblox co-founder David Baszucki, the D’Ameliofamily, Twitch co-founder Justin Kan and King Games co-founders Sebastian Knutsson and Ricardo Zacconi. Major brands like Warner Bros., Dior, and Addidas have already picked Ready Player Me as their partner in furthering their own metaverse experiments.
“What will unlock the true metaverse experience is interoperability between games, worlds and applications and a consistent identity for users across all experiences,” Ready Player Me CEO Timmu Tõke said. “We think it’s essential for virtual worlds users to create an avatar they love and buy avatar skins and accessories that work across the metaverse and are not stuck in one game. This infusion of funds will allow Ready Player Me to continue scaling the avatar system to make it more flexible for developers, create new tools to help developers monetize with avatar assets, and build tools for individual creators to take part of the cross-game avatar marketplace.”
Metaverse Population Boom
Demand for synthetic characters to fill the metaverse has exploded in recent months. Startups that supply both human-controlled avatars and virtual beings powered by interactive AI are flush with cash from investors and new clients. Inworld AI just raised $50 million for its metaverse-based virtual character creator, while Big names like HTC and Nvidia are pushing their own virtual character models in tandem with their metaverse worlds too, suggesting that a single default platform like Ready Player Me is angling to become won’t appear in the immediate future.